On a cold and wet April 8th the first official gathering of the WFS set out in hopes of finding Fragaria virginiana and in particular, their new spring leaves. They are lovingly noted in Euell Gibbons, Stalking the Healthful Herbs (more on our good friend Euell later…) for their high vitamin C content (more potent than OJ), astringency (reducing the sebum output of your sebaceous glands) and diuretic (makes you pee more…) properties. Making the Wild Strawberry something you should get excited about way before you’re thinking of making pies.
- 1 part Fragaria virginiana leaves
- 3 parts hot water
- Your Wild Strawberry leaves must be either really fresh or completely dried. The time in between allows for some chemical changes in the plant that are unwanted for this use.
- Boil the water in a pot or kettle and let sit for a few minutes before adding to the Wild Strawberry leaves. Boiling the leaves in the water, or adding boiling water can scald and damage them.
I allowed mine to sit and steep overnight, strained the leaves and placed the jar in the fridge. Of course you could let it steep for a shorter time and drink it warm (tastes lovely with a bit of honey) but keeping it cool increases it’s shelf-life – this allowed me to add it to smoothies for a Vitamin C boost, and put some in a small spray bottle to mist on my face after washing to help with my oily skin.
Bonus: It smells just like rose water!